Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Whats in a Name.

Did y'all see Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover that was shown everywhere Monday?? Sure you did. It was nothing short of awesome. What you may not have seen is the Meme that went viral that states your Mama named you Bruce so Imma call you Bruce.  That pissed me off, bad, and it has nothing what so ever to do with her being transgendered.  It has to do with respect.

A little over 10 years ago I legally changed my name. I did not like the name I had been given. I never had. I grew up being teased relentlessly over it all through school. I never thought it was "me" or even fit. I attempted in middle school to be called by my middle name. My mother threw the hissy of all hissy fits. She's Southern so that hissy fit was a major event. So I dropped it, but I wasn't happy about it. I was resigned that if I made to much of a fuss over it or asserted any right to what name I went through life with that "I'd hurt my mother's feelings".

In my early twenties I was to busy being a young mother and wife.  I was in a horrible marriage to an abusive man.  At that point I was mainly called mommy by my young child. I was called numerous things by my ex-husband, generally NOT my name.  By the time I crawled out of that situation I felt very dissociated with the name I have been given at birth and even LESS like it was me than I had before. At that point I really didn't want to be her . I wanted to start completely over. I wanted to be a woman I was proud of, a women who was getting her shit together and was going places.

In my early thirties with the full support of my new husband I set out to finally change my name legally and complete my "starting over". I did not have the support of quite a few members of my own family. I have a sister who has never spoken to me after the mothers day phone call she made to me 11 years ago and yelled at me for 2 hours over it. My mother will only recognize my legal name when forced to by a situation like emergency contact forms.

I got a lot of grief over the change, and a lot of respect lectures. Here is the real deal however, it IS a respect issue but the point they miss is, its respect for ME. I am a full grown woman who has made a decision about MY life and how I choose to live. It has NOTHING to do with them. The staunch refusal to acknowledge my right as a grown woman is disrespectful to me. One thing that they have never understood is that my decision was never about THEM, it was always about ME.  I have the right to go forth in the world and be called whatever I want to be called.

The world would be such a better place if people just respected each other and found tolerance of one another. So yes, Caitlyn should be called Caitlyn, just as if someone you have know as Sue for thirty years lets you know that they now want to be called Wilma. It doesn't matter if they are your friend, your sister, your daughter, your son, or your brother. Keep in mind its really not about you and its not personal against you. It is however about them and personal to them.

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  1. Beautifully written. I love this point of view.

  2. Thank you Andrea!


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